Project Discussion: Building a Cost recovery model TREs: How to do it together?#
Chair: David Sarmiento (Alan Turing Institute)
Should research projects contribute financially to TRE provision?
If so, how do we do it fairly and make sure it doesn’t become a barrier to research?
What costs should be recovered? Staff time, common infrastructure, analysis costs
How do we communicate the need for cost recovery with projects?
Turing Example - Trusted Research Service Area (TRESA)
Created as a cost centre
Separation within the resources/personnel between the ‘production TRE’ versus ‘developing the TRE’
Bart’s Health project - pressure to come up with a sustainability model - what’s it going to cost and why everyone else should be charged except for themselves!
Sensitivity around funding levels - trying to ‘socialise’ the idea that you will have to spend money to do this kind of activity and we should get it into funding proposals
Cloud funding costs - straightforward
But the overheads costs are a bit more complicated - data management, ongoing development and maintenance of software
If funders are looking at national infrastructure that has to go along with some baseline costs for keeping the lights on
Funding for this is complicated - data from NHS, research funding from UKRI - but what about the infrastructure and keeping the lights on (and improving them)
How do projects pay for TRE costs when they haven’t included them in their initial budgets?
Turing have a mechanism for applying for centrally funded cloud credits. For the person effort required to support TREs, we have a funded project and wider research computing service areas we can borrow people time from for the next 18 months or so to ease the transition, but need a long-term sustainability model
Running a 4 year project with a TRE and a key goal from the project governance is to establish an ongoing sustainability model for the TRE early on in the project.